You don't see that in a Maybach.
Unlike other major auto shows that were canceled this year, the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show is currently underway for the media and will soon be opening its doors to the public. Some of the stars of this year's show include the Ford Evo coupe SUV, the striking Lincoln Zephyr Reflection concept, the three-row Buick Envision Plus, and the lavish Mercedes C-Class Long-Wheelbase.
Another standout is the Hongqi L-Concept. If you've never heard of Hongqi, the company is China's oldest auto manufacturer, established in 1958. This is the same company responsible for China's copycat Rolls-Royce Cullinan and the 1,400-hp S9 hybrid hypercar, but Hongqi is best known for its luxury limos like the retro-inspired L5.
Previewing what Hongqi's limos could look like in the future, the L-Concept takes the form of a coupe-style sedan with a fastback roof and an exquisite two-tone exterior. At the front, the concept is dominated by a prominent grille with vertical chrome bars and large LED headlights. Additional LEDs light up the lower grille. A diamond-patterned cover replaces the rear window and the split taillights feature thin LED light strips.
If you thought the exterior is extravagant, wait until you step inside the interior, which is accessed via suicide doors. Unusually, the interior only has three seats, with two in the back and one in the front for the driver.
Removing the passenger seat provides more legroom for rear passengers, or the rear seat can be moved forward into a more relaxing reclined position. The seats are upholstered in sumptuous two-tone leather, and there's an abundance of interior LED light strips and wood trim. There's even a chandelier hanging between the rear seats - you don't see that in a Maybach. You'll also notice one glaring omission: there's no steering wheel, so the concept likely has autonomous driving tech. Local media reports claim the Hongqi L-Concept will spawn a production model in 2023, but we'll have to wait and see if the chandelier carries over to the production version.